Tripura High Court: Arindam Lodh, J. partly allowed an appeal which was filed against the judgment and order of conviction whereby and whereunder the appellant has been found guilty for committing an offence punishable under Section 8 of the POCSO Act and sentenced him to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for 3 years for the said offence and also found guilty under Section 448 of IPC and sentenced to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for 1 year for the said offence.

Mother of the victim had lodged the complaint stating that the accused entered into the dwelling house of the complainant and molested the minor daughter of the complainant and tried to rape on her. On hearing the hue and cry of the victim the complainant appeared there and, thereafter, the accused fled away. During the course of investigation, the investigating officer recorded the statements of the victim as well as other witnesses, thereafter charge sheet was submitted against the accused.

The accused was examined under Section 313 CrPC to which he denied all the incriminating circumstances surfaced against him in the evidence on record. Special judge after the hearing convicted and sentenced the accused as afore stated. Thus, the instant appeal.

The Court after perusal of the records found that offence under Section 8 of the POCSO Act has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution witnesses including the victim has not specifically stated anything that there was any intention of the accused to molest her. It was stated that the accused touched her hand and in this case ingredients of Section 8 have not been fulfilled and conviction and sentence under Section 8 of the POCSO Act was quashed and set aside.

Court however noted that the accused had trespassed the house of the complainant and further opined that appropriate and proportionate sentence should be imposed upon the accused-appellant. The Court modified the sentence to the extent that the accused-appellant shall pay a fine of Rs 10,000 (Rupees ten thousand) to the victim/complainant, in default of which, the accused-appellant shall suffer simple imprisonment for a period of six months.[Sanju Tanti v. State of Tripura, 2022 SCC OnLine Tri 242, decided on 07-04-2022]

For the Appellant(s) : Mr S.S. Datta

For the Respondent(s) : Mr R. Dutta, P.P.

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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